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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Stress Test

Stress Test Cost

How Much Does a Stress Test Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: $200-$400 Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $1,000-$5,000+
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A stress test, often referred to as an exercise test or as an exercise electrocardiogram, is used to determine the amount of stress a patient's heart can handle. When a heart is at rest, blockages might be unrecognizable by an EKG test. But when a heart is working, it pumps harder making it easier to identify potential coronary artery blockages or heart problems. Generally, a stress test involves walking on a treadmill or bicycling on a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty to determine stress on the heart. While the test itself generally takes less than 15 minutes, expect the doctor's visit to be up to two hours total.

Typical costs:

  • There are typically two main costs associated with a stress test -- the cost of the test itself and the cost of analyzing the results.
  • Patients with medical insurance covering a portion of the cost of the stress test procedure can expect to pay $200-$400 total out of pocket, depending on a patient's copay responsibility. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care[1] , a Massachusetts based health care provider, charges its members $270-$379 for the test itself and an additional $24-$39 for an interpretation of the test.
  • Uninsured patients will likely pay $1,000-$5,000 for stress test and the analysis. A cardiovascular stress test costs about $3,800 on average nationally, according to[2] , but can get as high as $10,900. Prices range based on geographical location, with urban, metropolitan areas charging higher prices than rural areas.
Related articles: EKG, Heart Rate Monitor, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The most frequently used stress test in done on a treadmill. During a treadmill stress test, a patient will have electrodes placed on their chest. A preliminary EKG will be performed to determine electrical activity while the heart is at rest. The technician performing the test also is likely to take a patient's pulse. Then the patient will begin exercising, usually on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. Gradually the degree of difficulty will increase, forcing the heart to work harder. Generally, a patient will exercise until he or she feels exhausted. The technician will ask how the patient is feeling at regular intervals. After the test, the patient will likely continue to pedal or walk during a cool down period until their heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.
  • Patients that are physiologically prevented from exercising can have a drug-induced stress test performed. Typically a drug is given to the patient to make the heart believe it is exercising.
  • Some patients receive a nuclear stress test which involves injecting the patient with radioactive material to help create a better image of how the heart functions. A camera is used to view the patient's heart before and after exercise.
  • WebMD[3] provides information on various types of stress tests and what a patient can expect before, during and after the test.
  •, a website run by a Georgia-based cardiologist, explains what is involved in an isotope, or nuclear, stress test[4] , which involves having a nuclear isotope injected into a patient to help locate problem areas.
Additional costs:
  • Patients who have a drug-induced stress test might also be responsible for the cost of the medications, typically Dobutamine or Adenosine. Typically, patients are charges $50-$60 for radioactive materials.
  • Health insurance may cover some or all of the cost of the stress test. Typically, insurance carriers cover 80%-100% of the costs. Contact an insurance provider for coverage specifics.
  • Some physicians and hospitals offer discounts of up to 35% to patients who do not have health insurance. Washington Hospital Healthcare System[5] , located in California, offers a 35% discount for uninsured patients. The hospital also has a financial assistance program for qualifying uninsured patients.
Shopping for a stress test:
  • The American Heart Association[6] has tips for reducing stress and living healthy.
  • The Heart Rhythm Society provides a searchable directory[7] of cardiology professionals.
  • The American College of Cardiology offers an online locator of cardiology specialists.
  • Smart Heart Living, an informational website, offers tips on shopping for a cardiologist[8] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Heart Echo Stress Test
Amount: $2,771.00
Posted by: Highly stressed in Naples, FL.Posted: September 22nd, 2015 09:09AM
Physician: SpilkerMedical Center: NCH Naples, FL
Had chest pains so I went to the ER. Found BP was high. Faced a hefty bill from the hospital and the ER doctor. Went to my primary physician and asked for a stress test for peace of mind. Big mistake. I was charged a total of $2,771 for the stress test and ultrasound before and after on the treadmill. Got 2 bills; one from the hospital and one from the doctor. I thought the doctor works at the hospital but they can charge separately. United Healthcare covered $2,024.73 so I was left with still a hefty $746.27 bill to pay. Don't even get me started about the ER highway robbery. That ER doctor wanted to refer me to his friend a physician from Miami with a tainted record. Good thing I looked him up. The only good thing that came out of all these was my heart is still in good shape. Well, it was before I saw the bills anyway. LOL! Check the prices people before getting a stress test or the stress will stay with you for a long time.
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Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Test
Amount: $7,231.00
Posted by: TCL in Lansdowne, PA.Posted: August 4th, 2015 12:08PM
Physician: Medical Center: Mercy Fitzgerald, Phila
I went in for what I though was a fairly simple test. I was directed to what was essentially a closet in the back of a Physical Therapy Room. There was a essentially a computer to record the data from the test, an oxygen cylinder, a stationary bike, a technician and a box fan to cool the space. I was probably there a little over 2 hours (should've been more like 1.5 hrs max, but the Doctor required for a portion of the test was late.). The total charge for this high tech adventure...$7231 of which United Healthcare (Insurance Co?) allowed me to pay $3800. Highway robbery!!! If I didn't have a heart problem, I do now. I had an Echocardiogram done in the doctors office with comparatively equal if not better technology, similar time, better accommodations and a technician with a higher level of training/technical talent and involvement. The cost for this was $810 dollars of which I only had to pay $80... I don't get it. Beware check on costs before you get these tests done.
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R Johnson
Amount: $5,000.00
Posted by: Robert M Johnson in tullahoma, TN.Posted: April 24th, 2015 06:04PM
Physician: guptaMedical Center: harton
A joke had reg stress to get cdl license sost 800
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Cardiac Stress Test
Amount: $4,800.00
Posted by: Scott Becker in Northfield, IL.Posted: February 27th, 2015 04:02AM
Physician: Medical Center: Evanston Hospital
Since this test was prescribed by the emergency room for my wife, I foolishly thought that most of the cost would be covered by Blue Cross insurance.
$ 4800 but they are graciously reducing it by 35%.
So about $3100. Glad it is a non-profit hospital so the execs can pocket multi-millions with no risk.
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nuclear stress test
Amount: $98.00
Posted by: James Cochran in waukegan, IL.Posted: January 6th, 2015 10:01AM
Physician: VAMedical Center: Lovell Regional VA Hospital
Great test. Took nearly three hours but worth it. Sure pays to be a veteran. Professional staff.
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Stress Test and Hospital Bill
Amount: $7,500.00
Posted by: Sal Easterley in SAINT LOUIS, MO.Posted: January 1st, 2015 08:01AM
Physician: BhandiwadMedical Center: Barnes-Jewish
I was told that my Coventry Insurance was in network at admittance for possible heart attack and found out it was not. Now I have a $9,000 bill ad $7800 is the stress test the MPI and the Eco. I am being told I needed those so the doctor ordered them. From now on I will ask what it costs before I get them?
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elecrocardiagram test United Healthcare copay
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Roger Thornhill in Cleveland, TN.Posted: December 24th, 2014 09:12AM
Physician: Heart institute of ChattanoogaMedical Center: doctor's office
I will never go back to a cardiologist. This is a racket. They should be made to carry tommyguns so we can recognize them. I was not consulted,they just rolled out this machine and in 2 minutes the 2500 dollar procedure was over. I'm tired of being caught in the middle of this doctor/hospital/insurance company war.
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Stress Echo
Amount: $6,200.00
Posted by: David in Santa Ana, CA in Orange, CA.Posted: December 19th, 2014 02:12PM
Physician: Medical Center: St. Joseph Hospital
I found this site after receiving a bill for a $460 co-pay from BS of CA. I couldn't believe that St. Joseph billed $6000 for a 20 minute test. The Dr. who was there for 5 minutes billed another $200 separately. I don't feel so bad about paying the $460 after reading the comments here. I had the test after an incorrect EKG in my GP's office said I had a previous heart attack. The Stress Echo said I was fine so I guess the peace of mind was worth it.
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Stress test/Echo cardiogram
Amount: $10,125.00
Posted by: Ronald Lohnes in Braselton, GA.Posted: November 26th, 2014 07:11AM
Physician: JosephMedical Center: North Ga. Medical Center
I am FURIOUS! The charges are beyond outrageous and the stressful part is getting the bill!!
I'm going to be out of pocket $2736.00, AFTER insurance.
It should be REQUIRED that you are told ahead of time what your charges will be...never have another one!!
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chemical stress test
Amount: $8,500.00
Posted by: June in Austin in Austin, TX.Posted: November 24th, 2014 10:11AM
Physician: Dr BloiseMedical Center: Austin Heart Hospital
Never would have taken this test if I had known how much it cost. Ridiculously HIGH! I don't even understand why??? I had a $3000.00 yearly copay.
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Stress Echocardiography Test
Amount: $312.00
Posted by: Gary R in Wheat Ridge, CO.Posted: October 26th, 2014 03:10PM
Physician: Dr. Kelly KimMedical Center: Exempla Lutheran-Rocky Mountain Cardiova
Required for my FAA 3rd class medical after my heart attack. Insurance won't cover costs for this reason, so the $312 is a self-pay rate. Very reasonable cost. Very professionally performed.
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Stress Test
Amount: $8,341.00
Posted by: Nana in Tyler, TX.Posted: October 22nd, 2014 02:10PM
Physician: Medical Center: Trinity Mother Francis
If you don't have heart problems you will when you get the bill.If my doctor would have told me the cost ahead of time, I would've never done it. I would've just waited to have a heart attack. No injections, wasn't there 1 hour. Ten mintues on treadmill with EKG and sonogram before and after. THIS IS WHY OUR HEALTH INSURANCE IS SO EXPENSIVE. It cost me the same to have gall bladder surgery.
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nuclear stress test
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Paul Pettengill in Kingsport, TN.Posted: October 5th, 2014 07:10PM
Physician: Medical Center: Holston Medical
Why can't it be required that Hospitals tell you UP Front what your costs will be for procedures. This is a ridiculous amount for someone that has BC/BS insurance. The Medical Professionals in our country are ripping us off.
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Exercise Stress test and Echo
Amount: $3,113.00
Posted by: joe72k in Hackettstown, NJ.Posted: October 1st, 2014 02:10PM
Physician: Dr OngMedical Center: Hackettstown Community Hospital
The hospital sent a bill of 7540.00 The insurance came back with the rate of 3445.78. My plan paid 332.78 and rest was on me 3113.00
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Stress Test
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: DBR in St. Louis, MO.Posted: August 18th, 2014 08:08PM
Physician: J. AveryMedical Center: Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Agreed to test only as precautionary and peace of mind. Dr. office called ahead to be sure insurance would cover, in-network, etc.... Bill for procedure: 1600.00 (I owed 500.00) then received a SEPARATE bill from the hospital with zero description- find out it's a 'Facility Fee' of 6700.00 (I owe 900.00). It cost me less $$ to have a baby. Absolutely absurd. Never again. Don't blame the doc- blame the hospital. Just plain crazy. Insurance says it is billed out-of-network... !?!?!?!?!!? Insurance says, "I hope it all works out for you." United Healthcare.
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Stress Test plus Echo
Amount: $2,793.00
Posted by: Garry in Orlando, FL.Posted: July 2nd, 2014 09:07AM
Physician: Dr MedirattaMedical Center: Orlando Health
In and out in 30 minutes. Two very young techs.
Our ins covered all but 1005.00. Dr said all is good and added anothe 500.00 for the follow-up. Orlando Health is supposed to be a Non-Profit hospital. BS if it can be done all over the USA for $800 why the large bill here at Orlando Health. Done with these rip off artists.
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Medicals in Canada
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Dan57 in Toronto, Other.Posted: May 21st, 2014 07:05PM
Physician: Medical Center: Canada
In Canada we basically pay $0 amount for every kind of a test, that's the reason we love this Country. We might have a bit of wait time if not emergency, but it's all worth it. All can afford the medical system as it's covered by the government. We love this Country. The Great Up North. Feel sorry for Americans, it's a nightmare. Sincere apologies to hear of all the stress and heartaches you citizens have to go through.
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Cardiovascular Study/Nuclear Medicine (Stress Test)
Amount: $12,902.91
Posted by: Fed Up in Sebastian, FL in Sebastian, FL.Posted: April 28th, 2014 06:04AM
Physician: EspatMedical Center: Sebastian River Medical Center
I was SHOCKED to say the least!! The day before my stress test was scheduled, the admitting office called me to collect $3000. for my out of pocket amount of this test. I was told the test would cost $26,763.56!! Even more shocking was that my insurance had APPROVED $21,410.84! As it turns out I was ONLY charged $12,902.91. REALLY!!
This is just WRONG any way you look at it. This is why our insurance premiums are so high!
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Stress Test with Nuclear injection
Amount: $9,167.00
Posted by: Nancy $$$ in Somerset, KY.Posted: March 4th, 2014 09:03AM
Physician: ThanolliMedical Center: Baptist Hospital
Just completed a stress test as recommended by my Dr. Thought I would have a heart attack when I seen the billing for this. Total was $ 9,167.00 ($ 6,868.00 for the first injection and 518.00 for the second, 638.00 for maybe 10 minutes on the treadmill!!!) Come on America something has got to be done to get all this under control. It's highway robbery with or without insurance and should not be allowed in this country. So sad for America. This was in February 2014 since I can't select the correct year below.
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Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Zegota in Spring Lake, MI.Posted: November 25th, 2013 04:11PM
Physician: Medical Center: Mercy/NOCH
I will post what the actual cost were, when I receive the statements, there will be at least two and maybe even three statements. There are separate costs from the Specialist for reviewing and reading the imaging of the heart. One for the use of the equipment (camera) and another one for the injection of Dobutamine to speed up the heart.
I am retired and on Medicare, with a good donut hole coverage under an employer coverage for retirees. I am as curious as you are, in fact right after I had the treatment, my letter came indicating approval from Medicare, guess I was lucky. I just want to encourage you, or your love one to have this test, if your physician recommends that you have one, it must be of a concern. For your family, for you, it is worth the cost and effort, if you are worried about the cost, shop around, but have the test performed. More later, if your interested on cost, I should know in at least a few weeks. God Bless and good luck, but have the test...please.
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stress test w/insurance
Amount: $370.00
Posted by: Now I'm Stressed! in Metairie, LA.Posted: October 15th, 2013 09:10AM
Physician: BourgeoisMedical Center: EJGH
The stress test was billed at $550.00, and BC/BS paid $179.37. I wish someone at the doctors office would have given me a heads up about this.
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